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Don Garlits' 1970 Swamp Rat 13


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Good morning,

This is the car that Don Garlits lost half of his right foot due to a transmission explosion. As he tells it, he was hurried to the line knowing there wasn't enough gear fluid in the trans, resulting in that horrific incident.

This model was built back in 1988. It features a scratch built frame,  steerable front axle, scratch built body, and some hand lettering.

Take care,

Guy

Swamp Rat 13 001.jpg

Swamp Rat 13 002.jpg

Swamp Rat 13 003.jpg

Swamp Rat 13 004.jpg

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I really like this.  My opinion, the Garlits cars always looked kind of dirty, compared to the West Coast cars.  Maybe the only chrome he had was valve covers and front wheels.  But the '"dirtiness" was just unpolished and nothing but business intentioned.  Just like this model.

Excellent finish on the parts too,  lots of love shown here,  and knowledge.  Heck, even the wheels fit into the slicks, no rim sticking out around the whole tire like most guys show.  The slicks looks like you could press down on them and the car would shake a little.

QUESTION: Guy, concerning the slicks and the "deflated look",  are those just slits cut into the tire walls?  Impressive.

Mike..

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4 hours ago, Mike Williams said:

I really like this.  My opinion, the Garlits cars always looked kind of dirty, compared to the West Coast cars.  Maybe the only chrome he had was valve covers and front wheels.  But the '"dirtiness" was just unpolished and nothing but business intentioned.  Just like this model.

Excellent finish on the parts too,  lots of love shown here,  and knowledge.  Heck, even the wheels fit into the slicks, no rim sticking out around the whole tire like most guys show.  The slicks looks like you could press down on them and the car would shake a little.

QUESTION: Guy, concerning the slicks and the "deflated look",  are those just slits cut into the tire walls?  Impressive.

Mike..

Mike Williams,

Hi Mike. Yeah, well he really wasn't a show car type guy. 

I use a fine razor saw to lightly cut the sidewall of the slick. Different grades of sandpaper are folded, and then sanded back and forth in the cut. Start out with 320 grit, then 400 grit, and then 600 grit. The slicks are flattened using a piece of glass and 320 grit sandpaper.

Guy

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1 hour ago, gonzo64nova said:

I thought the clutch exploded in the car, thats what cut half his foot off.

gonzo64nova,

As explained by "Gar" himself. He was reinstalling the trans when the officials called him to the line. He hurriedly put it together knowing he was low on fluid. 

Guy

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37 minutes ago, Guy Beaudette said:

gonzo64nova,

As explained by "Gar" himself. He was reinstalling the trans when the officials called him to the line. He hurriedly put it together knowing he was low on fluid. 

Guy

if you got it from "Big" it must be true.

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20 hours ago, Guy Beaudette said:

Mike Williams,

Hi Mike. Yeah, well he really wasn't a show car type guy. 

I use a fine razor saw to lightly cut the sidewall of the slick. Different grades of sandpaper are folded, and then sanded back and forth in the cut. Start out with 320 grit, then 400 grit, and then 600 grit. The slicks are flattened using a piece of glass and 320 grit sandpaper.

Guy

Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.  I have several pairs of nice slicks that I'll be trying this out ASAP.  I do like the look.

Guy:  I don't understand about the "slicks are flattened using a piece of glass".  Could you offer some insight?

Mike..

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18 hours ago, Force said:

Very nice.
Where do you get your slicks, they look just right with the wrinkles?

Force,

The slicks are from any Revell dragster or funnycar kit. Yeah, these are the ones you have to put together.

Guy

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3 hours ago, Mike Williams said:

Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.  I have several pairs of nice slicks that I'll be trying this out ASAP.  I do like the look.

Guy:  I don't understand about the "slicks are flattened using a piece of glass".  Could you offer some insight?

Mike..

Mike Williams,

I use a piece of glass out of a welder's helmet/face shield which is 4 1/4" X 2". These can be purchased at any welding supply shop. The sandpaper is wrapped around the glass. The slick is placed on the sandpaper, and sanded back and forth WITHOUT rotating it. With the second piece of glass, set the slick on the flat side to check it's not canted, and also to see if you are sanding it flat. You can't find any other material flatter than a piece of glass!

Guy

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/5/2020 at 8:01 AM, Guy Beaudette said:

Good morning,

This is the car that Don Garlits lost half of his right foot due to a transmission explosion. As he tells it, he was hurried to the line knowing there wasn't enough gear fluid in the trans, resulting in that horrific incident.

This model was built back in 1988. It features a scratch built frame,  steerable front axle, scratch built body, and some hand lettering.

Take care,

Guy

Swamp Rat 13 001.jpg

Swamp Rat 13 002.jpg

Swamp Rat 13 003.jpg

Swamp Rat 13 004.jpg

This is just beautiful!!!!

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